1. Define clear objectives for the sales operations group.While it’s tempting to allow sales operations to become the dumping ground for all things unwanted by sales and marketing, its true purpose is to enable the productivity of the sales,teams. Outlining the functions that sales operations should lead and the functions it should support can help set boundaries and clarify the role for an effective group. Determining how sales operations will be judged effective (i.e increases in productivity per rep) is critical to establishing clear expectations.
2. Manage to the metrics. More and more, sales organizations rely on empirical information to set and achieve their goals. Historically, sales has been more art than science, but sales operations offers new intelligence and lucidity into what works and what doesn’t in the sales organization. Develop a dashboard for sales and sales operations to ensure that the teams are reaching their objectives.
3. Balance a centralized and localized structure. Sales operations can create processes and streamline activities that used to be accomplished by IT, marketing, HR, operations and sales, and act as a connecting point between previously disparate functions. Sales operations can take those tasks and align them with the goals of the organization. In addition to these centralized roles there is also value in sales operations staying close to the sales organization in allof their locations to understand the challenges that need support. Balance the efficiency of a centralized sales operations structure with the frequent communication and sensitivity of a localized structure.
4. Create sales operations roles that make sense for your company. Because sales operations is a young and evolving function, compare and contrast your organization with others, but build your sales operations team with roles that match the priorities of your specific sales needs, whether IT-related, marketing related, or analytics.
5. Measure the ROI for sales operations. In most companies there is a direct connection between sales productivity and revenue growth. In high performing organizations sales operations provides a clear impact on sales productivity.Understand and articulate the RIO levers for sales operations and make investments in the key initiatives most connected to sales productivity.